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Genetic Counseling, Postgraduate Certificate

  • Application Deadline
  • 18 months
University rank #25 (WUR) , IL,
Northwestern University provides a strong foundation in core genetic counseling skills and identifies each student’s strengths in order to ignite the passion and lifelong commitment to learning that is critical to professional development.


The program is 18 months long. Students are enrolled for six ten-week quarters; three academic quarters their first year (Fall, Winter, Spring), one summer quarter and two academic quarters their second year (Fall and Winter). Students graduate in mid-March, which is earlier than many other genetic counseling programs. Many of our students feel that this early graduation date gives them a jump start on the job search and a competitive edge over other graduates.The curriculum is designed to emphasize the scientific and medical aspects of the profession, along with the counseling and psychosocial aspects. Students begin their clinical rotations during the winter quarter of the first year. Early clinical placements allow the students to quickly apply and reinforce the concepts they learn in the classroom. In addition, Northwestern has a strong research component, requiring a written thesis and oral defense.

Our program also emphasizes the importance of exposing students to renowned medical experts, both through conferences and on-campus lectures. All second-year students at Northwestern attend the National Society of Genetic Counselors' Annual Education Conference, funded by the program. Locally, students are also encouraged to participate in available conferences, including the Genetic Task Force of Illinois' Annual Symposium. In addition to the formal conferences, the program's proximity to the medical school and affiliated hospitals and care sites allows students to attend grand rounds and many academic lectures on campus.


Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is fully accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC).

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Introduction to Genetic Counseling and Medical Communication
  • Medical Communication
  • Research Methods

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 18 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

  • This programme accepts GRE® scores, however, has not provided a recommended or minimum required score range.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

  • Bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, psychology, social work, nursing, or a related field
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above
  • General GRE is required (No subject examination is required)

In general, the science courses above should be at a level required for a biology major or a premed track. Please consult your academic advisor for help in choosing the correct courses.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    58000 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 58000 USD per year and a duration of 18 months.
  • National Applies to you

    58000 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 58000 USD per year and a duration of 18 months.
  • In-State Applies to you

    58000 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 58000 USD per year and a duration of 18 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Evanston

  • 1100 - 1500 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Work Study Program: Each student has the opportunity to work for four hours per week for a genetic counseling faculty member for a total of 40 hours per quarter. In exchange for this, the students will have $3,000 each quarter remitted from their tuition.

Funding for Research: Students are given up to $1,000.00 for their research projects so that they do not need to fund their own work

Funding for Local and National Meetings: Students are given up to $1,000.00 to attend the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference during their second year of training; in addition, if NSGC or another professional genetics society plans a regional meeting in the Chicago area, the program will potentially fund attendance at that meeting as well

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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